I apologize for what I did. It wasn’t me, and I wish with everything that I have that you could come to forgive me. I’m nothing now, and it would make me the happiest man on Earth to hear from you again. Olivia, please give me a call, at least to tell me how you’re doing.
Olivia crumpled up the letter and placed it in the trash. It almost sounded like a joke. How many years of emotional and sometimes physical abuse had she withstood from her birth father?
“He’ll suffer with silence. For everything, for Mama,” She muttered to herself.
It was her birthday, and being so close to Father’s Day, she had to relive the events that made her the person she was today – a ruthless killer with her own definition of justice. A tattoo of a curved knife glided along the lines of her collar bone, marking her tanned skin with a permanent memory of that day. She stared at her body in the mirror, pinched the skin at her waist and sighed. She carried a slim build, stood roughly 5’4” at her own estimation, and was very conscious of the way her knees looked. Among all of the features that she thought made her beautiful, her eyes always gravitated towards her knees, the wrinkly mess that they were.
“I still don’t know why I bought this full-length mirror.”
Olivia suited up in denim jeans with a grey tank top. She dressed casually for days spent doing research in front of her thirty-two inch computer monitor. It was a computer once dedicated to performing banking operations – top of the line and also dirt cheap. She had a relationship with the computer technician for a company that supplied the computers and software necessary to run the economy, who also happened to cheat on her with one of his co-workers. He was found days later in what seemed like a suicide-pact with his secret lover and one of his computers mysteriously vanished at the same time.
“Sam, Sam, Sam.”
Sam, who would be her partner for the contracts taken for a Dr. Pavel Methusda, was considerably older than she. He was strange, kept to himself mostly, yet had a commanding presence in their operations. His weapon of choice was also peculiar – some kind of golden shotgun pistol that she overheard being called Lilith.
“The whole bunch of them are silly.”
They all lived in some kind of red insane asylum innocently named Keaton Place, but it gave her the creeps. It reminded her of some secret society, like she was hired by the Knights Templar or Illuminati to take out political opponents. The opponents: little creepy girls all named Elizabeth and all marked to be killed with that silly weapon Lilith. It was good money — no matter how odd — and she began to realize that these jobs were getting more and more complicated. Sam and Olivia failed the last one, and she was fairly unpaid for the mistake.
She brewed a cup of coffee, and sipped it; she preferred it black, no sugar or creamer. The earthy, almost chocolaty aromas enlivened her senses, the steam wrapping her mind in a caffeine-induced state of heightened awareness. There were going to be no mistakes the next time, she determined that a more discrete approach would be needed with the singer Elizabeth Tramaine. Olivia began to type up the first of several important e-mails.
A group of four met in a small café not far from Olivia’s studio apartment. October had come, and with it the early stages of fall were beginning to show. They sat outside under an awning on the patio, each with a complicated order, save for Olivia’s. It was funny, she thought, for such macho boneheads, they sure loved to play tea party with their drinks. She was still dressed as casually as she was earlier that day.
“I’m glad for your quick correspondence, and let me get straight into the details. You’ll be paid when I have the target placed in the designated house — cash, five-thousand each. Simple enough?”
The bald-headed man grumbled and spoke up. He was gruff, large, and more than likely pumped full of steroids. His name was Stoik, and he was as simple as he was brute. After years of odd security jobs and club bouncer positions, he was hired by the mafia to carry out hits and was outstanding at providing the muscle necessary to enforce the mafia’s desires. A falling out caused Stoik to rat them out to the police, and yet he continued taking on the odd hit job.
“Ol, is there a catch?”
“No catch, just find the person, bring them to the house and make contact with me. You will all be given a walkie-talkie, and all of you will contact me at the same time when the deed is finished. Foul play will not be tolerated, so I expect a good match, boys.”
“Livie, there has to be something more to this,” the Irish gentlemen spoke softly to her, “or else you would have done this yourself. Of course, we can just walk from this and you’d have no other options.”
The Irishman Gregor was a sweetheart, and at times it was confusing to see him as a cold-blooded killer. He tended to take the jobs that churned the bile of even seasoned veterans of the profession.
The other man was quiet and reserved, observing the conversation carefully. He was cautious when Olivia contacted him, but he knew it wouldn’t be without good reason. Leo’s hair was long, a dark chestnut color and perfectly straight. If it weren’t for his broad shoulders and chiseled jawline, he could be considered feminine.
“Listen, I called you here because I need your help with this. It’s a multi-stage operation, and this is only the first part. The five K is nothing more than an appetizer – if the full operation is a success, you could be looking at a main entrée of one hundred thousand. On board?”
“We’ll take it,” Leo took the lead, “but we’ll do it for ten thousand each, with the promise of a bonus based upon the overall success. It’s an easy job, but you’ll be paying us out of necessity not skill – you’re not in the position to bargain but we’re also fair and honest people. Stoik and Gregor will make sure the target arrives safely to the destination, and I’ll manage extraction and our payment. One more thing –“
Olivia knew what he planned on saying, and so far her plan was coming together perfectly.
“This is a no-kill contract. There will be no blood on our hands, or else we’ll take out a contract of our own.”
“It’s a deal then, friends.”
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with everything. In that time, I’ve had to reinvent myself and become the strong woman you and Mama always wanted for me. There was a lot of pain, pain you never seemed to understand; but now I believe you have felt it for yourself. We have now both hurt for much longer than either of us has needed to, and I want to forgive you. I’ve started a family, and while they will never be able to meet their grandmother, maybe they can have a relationship with you. You would love their father like a son, he’s gentle and very sweet. Please, let’s meet again – Mark’s Diner on Second Street, October twentieth at eleven A.M.
Daniel sat at the diner, a letter from his daughter sitting in his pocket. He sat drinking his coffee, black with no creamer or sugar. His mother always drank her coffee that way, and it seemed unnatural any other fashion. Mark’s Diner was a retro-styled 50’s cheeseburger-and-milkshake sort of restaurant, and the bar that he sat at was candy-coated in red and white paint. There was an odd painting of a Boston Terrier staring out above a crashing sea, but it seemed to mesh well with the décor. Danny stared at the painting for an inordinate amount of time.
Three men walked into the diner, strange they were to Daniel. They laughed loudly, and spoke with foreign accents. A lot of talk about a girl named Elizabeth; it made him think about his daughter Olivia. Where was she?
“I hope she didn’t change her mind..”
Daniel sat waiting, seconds turned to minutes, and minutes felt like hours. The men ordered food, watching them eat like pigs at their troughs. They were so rough, raucous in their attitude and dirty in their manners. You’ll be here soon, he thought to himself, I can’t wait to spoil those kids of yours. He noticed a car arrive across the street; a man in a suit walked out and entered the dark, unlit house. This was only strange because the lights remained off.
“Hey Hun, I’ve been told to give this to ya.”
The waitress handed him a letter.
I lied about tonight. Was there mercy in the hands around my neck? There was certainly none for Mama. Tonight is my requiem.
They say that the last few seconds of your life are always the longest. Seconds play out as centuries, your life is revisited before your eyes and you make peace with your own sublimation. Daniel saw with it a lifetime of mistakes, regrets, bad decisions and all the women in his life that he hurt. In a flash, he would disappear and his crimes would melt from this world into the next. The last thing he remembered was a company Christmas party when Olivia was only four years old – she stood on his shoes as they danced together.
The men Olivia hired decided it was time to receive payment – they clicked on their walkie-talkies and were subsequently engulfed in an explosion that destroyed most of Mark’s Diner. There was nothing inside their devices other than explosives. Olivia smiled.